Takoradi has been hit with a spate of kidnappings, most of which appear unresolved. On Tuesday, a family representative of Ruth Quayson, Vice President of IMANI Ghana and a lawyer (who is also Director of the Centre for Juvenile Delinquency in Ghana) attributed the development to a lack of commitment on the part of the Ghana Police Service.
Ruth Love Quayson, 18, has gone missing since August 18, 2018. Many suggest she has been kidnapped.
The suspicion of kidnapping follows calls by unidentified persons demanding ransom from the victim’s family as a condition precedent to releasing their daughter.
But Ruth is not the only person who has gone missing in Takoradi. A first-year student of Sekondi College in the Western Region has disappeared on December 21 last year around Nkroful Junction, Daily Guide reports.
Another person, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, on December 4, 2018, also went missing.
This development has brought intense pressure on the Ghana Police Service to find the kidnappers and their victims.
However Speaking on the Joy Super Morning Show, Nana Adwoa, a family representative of Ruth Quayson, complained about the police’s lack of commitment in helping to find the whereabouts of their lost daughter.
She cited the many instances the alleged kidnapper called to demand ransom for the release of their daughter as a case in point.
Nana Adwoa maintains that even though this was brought to the attention of the police and the BNI, they did nothing to facilitate the release of their daughter.
She questioned the police’s commitment to finding their daughter given that even after the kidnapper had been arrested, the police watched as he broke out of jail.
The alleged kidnapper, who pleaded not guilty, looked better than when he was first arrested, she insisted in court, adding that the situation is attributed to police pampering.
The distressed family member has called on the police to subject the alleged kidnapper to torture, which they claim might compel him to be forthcoming with information on their daughter’s whereabouts.
But Mr. Kofi Bentil disagrees with the recommendation of torture as an interrogation tactic – even though he agreed that the police has not shown commitment to finding the victims.
“The police just don’t care,” Mr. Bentil said. “The police seem to care little about ordinary people.”
The Vice President of IMANI Ghana added that “it is too easy to commit a crime in Ghana. Three people kidnapped and they (police) are so lackadaisical. What are they doing? We need answers.” he exclaimed.
Appealing to the police, Mr. Bentil, a lawyer by profession said “if the police can afford GH¢10m worth of cars, then they can find the needed resources to secure the release of this kidnapped lady. You don’t need this much to resolve this issue.”
On his part, Dennis Adjei-Dwommoh, lawyer and Director of the Centre for Juvenile Delinquency in Ghana said the attitude of the police is just the Ghanaian attitude.
According to him “the attitude of the police is a Ghanaian attitude. We only pay attention to issues in Accra or those in the media and social media. Until we give the front burner to it nobody will act.”
He has therefore called on the Minister for Information, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protect and the Committee on Gender and Children in Parliament to all join hands in resolving the recent kidnapping.
He asserted further that the kidnapping must be resolved quickly because “after the kidnapping, there are other consequential issues.”
The Daily Guide reports that The Western Regional Police Command has so far arrested a 28-year-old Nigerian named Samuel Udoetuk-Wills. Authorities believe he is in connection with the kidnapping of girls in the area.
He was arrested at his hideout in an abandoned building at Kansaworado in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.
Samuel managed to escape from police custody but was later re-arrested in an uncompleted building located between Kansaworodo and Nkroful in Sekondi-Takoradi.
Relatives of the kidnapped girls recently hit the streets of Sekondi-Takoradi to force authorities to fast-track investigations to bring back the girls.
The aggrieved parents were joined in the demonstration by residents of the metropolis who revealed that the recent rise in kidnappings in the area was worrying.
After his arrest, the suspect was first hauled before the court on Wednesday and charged with escaping from lawful custody, causing damage and resisting arrest.
He pleaded not guilty to all the three charges and the court, presided over by Michael Ampadu, remanded him to reappear on January 16, 2019.
During the trial at the Takoradi Magistrate Court, police presented a scarf and a dress belonging to 15-year-old Priscilla Koranchie, which were found at his hideout as proof that he was knee deep in the kidnappings.